New French association for Britons who still feel European

EU Britizens aims to support the pro bono legal cases of Bordeaux and Paris avocat Julien Fouchet and create solidarity among Britons facing Brexit-related difficulties

26 February 2021
By Connexion journalist

A new French association for Britons who still feel European has been launched: EU Britizens.

It aims to support the pro bono legal cases of Bordeaux and Paris avocat Julien Fouchet, who seeks to regain EU citizenship rights for Britons, and to create solidarity among Britons facing Brexit-related difficulties.

Its president is retired British civil servant Alice Bouilliez, 61, from Gers. Mrs Bouilliez is the claimant in a legal case, brought by Mr Fouchet, hoping to gain a European Court of Justice ruling on whether loss of EU citizenship causes disproportionate harm to Britons in the EU.

Read more: My EU citizen's rights were taken without me having a say

The association includes, as its bureau, treasurer Dawn Plant, a translator from Deux-Sèvres, and retiree Terence Knott, from the Bouches-du-Rhône (Europe coordinator for British centrist party Renew) as secretary.

It has 475 members. Those interested can make contact at EU Britizens on Twitter or Facebook group EU Britizens. They have not fixed a joining fee and will probably make it voluntary.

Mrs Bouilliez said: “The whole situation with Brexit has been quite traumatic and we are realising, from those in touch via a questionnaire we ran, how many there are who are facing difficulties because they fall between two chairs in some way.”

She said they included people who are struggling because their businesses involved trading between the UK and France and are now hit with new costs and difficulties, or people who need help with establishing healthcare rights or otherwise regularising their situation in France. Zoe Lassalas, British pro consul in Bordeaux, has helped, she said.

“EU Britizens are trying to help people so they are out of danger,” Mrs Bouilliez said.

With regard to her case, she said EU states have been invited to give reactions to its arguments. “We are waiting to see how each feels about how it deals with its resident Britons, and whether we will be up against a closed or open door.”

A crowd funder for Mr Fouchet’s cases can be found online.

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